WellSpan Home

Health Library

Current Investigations in Environmental Medicine

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is currently investigating the following:

  • Birth and developmental defects, sterility, breast and testicular cancers. NIEHS research seeks to discover how chemicals in the environment, including pesticides that mimic the hormone estrogen, might cause or stimulate these diseases.

  • The health of our oceans. The state of our ocean's resources is linked to health outcomes of the Earth's population.

  • Toxicogenomics. This is a scientific field that studies how human genes are involved in responses to environmental stressors and toxins.

  • Women's health. NIEHS scientists are examining the environmental components of osteoporosis, as well as the postmenopausal release of lead from bone, which can result in osteoporosis.

  • Alzheimer's and other neurologic disorders. Some scientists believe toxins in the environment may play a role in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), and other disorders of the immune and endocrine systems. NIEHS research seeks to determine what role solvents, pesticides, and metals may play. Although studies have shown an association between certain modifiable lifestyle factors and a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease, NIH says that researchers still aren’t sure whether these factors can actually prevent the disease.

  • Lead poisoning. Lead in old paint continues to be a leading environmental hazard to infants and children, and may have effects on fertility and pregnancy. NIEHS is also evaluating various treatments for lead poisoning.

  • Hazards to the poor. NIEHS grants support health research projects among minority and low-income communities as the poor are more likely to be exposed to lead poisoning at home and hazardous chemicals at work, live near hazardous waste sites, and live where there is air pollution or polluted water.

  • Agricultural pollution. Agricultural chemicals have increased food production to meet the needs of rising populations here and abroad, but can pose serious health risks at high exposures. NIEHS puts special emphasis on agricultural exposures.

  • Signal error. Certain environmental chemicals mimic the body's hormonal growth factors by activating receptor proteins at the cell's surface that stimulate cell growth and division. Investigation is underway to determine whether exposure to such chemicals contributes to the development of cancer or reproductive disorders.

  • Animal alternatives. NIEHS is looking for ways to reduce the number of animals used in research and to find alternatives for animals, by using microbe and tissue cultures whenever possible.

  • Applying the research. NIEHS provides public and professional education and information on environmental health matters through a number of channels. In addition, they provide training programs for safety and health in hazardous waste handling and cleanup.

  • Markers. Scientists are working to use indicators, called biomarkers, to better measure the body's exposure to and uptake of toxins. Scientists hope that these measurements can be made by sensitive, noninvasive tests to help provide early warnings of exposures, predict the likely development of diseases and help doctors prevent or limit these diseases.

  • Health disparities research. NIEHS is working with many key players, including national, state, and local policymakers to understand the interrelationships of poverty, environmental pollution, and health. Among the NIEHS efforts are grant programs to enable local communities to deal with environmental health issues affecting them.

Current Investigations in Environmental Medicine - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Kolbus, Karin, RN, DNP, COHN-S
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 2013-06-02T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2013-06-10T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2016-04-06T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2016 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.